Friday, July 12, 2019

Stephanie Meyer and the Gang of Six Have No Confidence in Shawnee Citizens

Wow, that is a heck of a headline, isn't it?

So, are you asking why I say that?  Actually, it is pretty easy to explain.  First let's define the "Gang of Six".  That includes Meyer, and Councilmembers Zimmerman, Neighbor, Larson-Bunnell, Sandifer and Constance.

Now for what happened.  It is a matter of record.  At the last Council Committee meeting members Jenkins and Kemmling brought forth some proposals regarding the budget process.  One of these was to establish a citizen task force to review the budgets going forward and if needed recommend adjustments by looking for ways to possibly reduce or move allocations.  The task force would consist of 2 members appointed by each councilmember and two from the council itself.

The "Gang of Six" did everything they could to shoot down that idea, and unfortunately they succeeded.  Among the reasons given were the high quality of our staff and the fact that we use priority based budgeting. 

We probably do have a very high quality staff.  But, they are human.  And sometimes humans can make mistakes, errors, or not see certain things etc. etc. etc.  They are not perfect.  A task force as proposed by Jenkins and Kemmling would utilize the other advantage we have here in Shawnee.  To wit, a very diverse, intelligent community with folks from all career backgrounds.  The task force would not be decision making but advising.  Folks outside of the budget process might just see some things that could prove to be beneficial.  So, what is the gang of six afraid of?

We have boards and commissions made up of citizens already.  And some of them are in a position where they virtually do make the decision (Board of Zoning Appeals, Planning Commission).

So again, why would the "Gang of Six" be against utilizing the wealth of experience and knowledge that our residents could bring to the table?  I have my opinions, you can formulate your own